tv [untitled] March 19, 2013 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
blog in a washington d.c. and here's what's coming up tonight on the big picture. today is the tenth anniversary of the start of the iraq war a long term legacy of the iraq war be people in iraq better off today than they were ten years ago also rush limbaugh says republicans aren't conservative enough facts seem to say otherwise don't think we'll ask our guests tonight. and for years activists have been trying to expose the dirty little secrets of america's factory farms but now their efforts are coming under attack so who's trying to cover up the secrets of the agriculture industry and ideally take. you need to know this today is the tenth anniversary of the start of the iraq war
and while we can calculate casualties and expenditures we may never know its true human caused and legacy on march nineteenth two thousand and three the american military invaded a country that had never attacked us and had no plans to do so president bush said this to the american people from the oval office. my fellow citizens at this hour american and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm iraq to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger on my orders coalition forces to begin striking selected targets of military importance to undermine saddam hussein's ability to wage war. these are opening stages of what will be a broad and concerted campaign we were told by the bush administration that iraqi president saddam hussein was a state sponsor of terrorism and that is countries weapons of mass destruction oh.
as an imminent threat to america's security our complacent media cheered on the president's bellicose rhetoric new york times columnist iraq war of angels thomas friedman famously told the people of the middle east to quote suck on this and quote course those w m d's were never found but it didn't seem to really matter which is v.p. dick cheney said we would be greeted as liberators this was a grand crusade to spread american democracy into a backwards tyranny as expected the initial stages of the war moved quickly. america and british led coalition troops easily mopped up saddam's about the troops and captured the capital baghdad in april it may president bush told us mission accomplished but the mission wasn't accomplished a brutal insurgency soon tore apart iraq's social fabric dragging that country into a sectarian civil war unprepared an unwelcome american troops became easy targets for militant forces four thousand four hundred eighty six americans died between
two thousand and three and two thousand and twelve iraqi civilians suffered even more a recent study by scholars of brown university's watson institute estimates that more than one hundred ninety thousand iraqis have died since the start of the war in two thousand and three other counts reaches high as one million according to a report from cost of war in mother jones the united states will eventually spend over six trillion dollars on that war about one hundred times more than the bush administration predict if you're looking for an answer to our current deficit problems this is it but statistics only tell part of the story the war ruined america's credibility and inflamed extremists throughout the islamic world and for many the mainstream media has never been able to reclaim its reputation as the guardians of truth and knowledge on empire but like the us can survive a failure like the invasion of iraq lick our wounds and salt and live to fight another foolish war iraqi society has never really recovered and probably won't for
generations just today insurgent attacks killed fifty. or more people in baghdad and other major cities families have been displaced friends have been murdered in communities of literate a once proud country is fractured and impoverished the sort of indignities are never forgotten ten years on can anyone really say it was worth it despite the obvious human tragedy the main instigators of the conflict george book bush dick cheney donald rumsfeld held remain unpunished and under how can we. ever expect to learn from the biggest foreign policy disaster in america's recent history if we don't hold our leaders accountable for the evil they've caused so what is the lasting legacy of the iraq war and how do we prosecute the war criminals who started it let's ask our architect blogger and political advocate for the american arab anti-discrimination committee ed welcome back to the program and thank you for having me again great to have you with us where were you on this day in two
thousand and three i was in my parents' place in baghdad and actually went back to iraq from jordan because i knew that there would be and be just so i went to be with my family and we were collecting food like you know storing more food and preparing for the invasion and i remember waking up. on this day on the sounds of the first bombs that's been on baghdad what was your family's experience. because you know my family went through so many wars in the last we would be doing the talking on war it would have this was during the one nine hundred ninety one and beat the bombing campaign and all through the other bombing campaigns that happened in the one nine hundred ninety s. so bombings were not very new to us but two thousand and three was very different it was intensified we actually couldn't sleep for three days the initial shock and
awe were thousands and thousands of myside spent on baghdad with it to the twas the explosions twenty four was the day we couldn't control yeah. that has to do. that has to do incredible psychological damage particularly children project i mean to everyone you know the children to my parents i remember my mom was traumatized she spent most of the day being a couple and of course you know my kids my brothers were younger than that i was young and. making fun of that and so you know but now when i look back it was a very very traumatizing experience and we didn't we didn't have a single window left unbroken in the no one house off the street the three the initial three days of bombing and of course not like this just like the feeling of being violated you know it's not just about the fuel for your life but the feeling of being violated by a foreign nation it was very painful to me there has been an arc in american public
opinion from gung ho let's do it to oh my god we did that. has there been an arc in iraqi public opinion there was i think their occupied medical opinion acted faster than the u.s. public opinion was split to start with there was no consensus to support or oppose the invasion but i think by the end of two thousand and three things became very clear that this was a disaster and that the u.s. is not giving any time soon in the u.s. side i think people gave it more time because of the skewed media coverage media rocky's for the fed you know it's right to play on some stereotypes of iraq he's being you know crazy violent and muslims who have been killing each other for for centuries so i don't think americans felt the impact that much but i mean in the now when you look at the public opinion numbers there is a vast majority of americans would think that should not have happened in between
and the war with iraq should not have happened to what extent was hussein successful in preventing introducing a warfare essentially civil war intersects terry and war between sunny's and shiites and i would rather see you give the personally i would give it to the iraqi system iraqis did not have a system based on security and affiliations until two thousand and three the governing. and that was introduced by the u.s. is the first instance in iraq's contemporary history that iraqis were picked based on this experience affiliations it never happened before in fact saddam had overthrown of democratically elected president could with the help of the united states as i recall back and i know you're mixing the saudis now between iraq and iran you know. messing with them of a country yes i know it's
a long so so saddam came to power but he did it did he not overthrow a democratically elected president i mean there were so many different types of governments in iraq since the one nine hundred twenty cents of this been a series of them and none of them like sectarian six or seven different type one of them identified themselves as we are sometimes we were shia not only that actually you know the fifty five deck of cards that were printed by the pentagon off the top of the bag that when the u.s. wanted to go after the top fifty five leaders in iraq out of those fifty five fifty six were shiites the top two leaders were a christian so i mean when you look at the demographics of the iraqi dictatorship it was not it was a very secular. and which is one of the things that was making osama bin laden crazy actually which is so weird that we were the bush was saying that you know there was some sort of affiliation between saddam hussein and al qaeda when. in case i mean it's
a joke to think that that is. the form of government would have any connections with religious extremists or better john lott and actually wanted to invade iraq from saudi arabia that was when that was when the saudi government finally put the foot down on him took away his passport in order. and i don't think americans have any sense of what do you think the long term legacy of this is going to be in iraq in that region it's i think it's a legacy of death and destruction i don't think iraqis would look back and think you know what. something was good for the country we're talking about a million people who were killed in the last ten years five million people who were displaced in the last decade alone the country has been deeded destroyed the infrastructure infrastructure has been destroyed iraq's national identity has been destroyed people don't really think of themselves as iraqis first they think of themselves as sunni's or shiites or. the damage is the hard part to stand in the
world you know it's very basic is it time for america to apologize to iraq and and perhaps even take the next step and prosecute bush cheney rumsfeld wolfowitz face parole some of these guys who got us into this thing and i think this is really important i think although the u.s. military occupation has ended in two thousand and eleven i think the u.s. moral and legal obligations towards iraq i'm not i'm not over yet and without holding those who took the us toward accountability you know we're not really putting an end to that chapter i think being iraqis compensation is a really important and important investment in this important way to end a war you know that the u.s. speed two thousand five hundred dollars for every member of their families that were killed and that's the same amount that they give them if their last piece of property so if a family or a car and their son will give them two thousand five hundred dollars apiece it's an
insult it's an insult it's humiliating you know we have to look at these issues and think of iraqi life as equivalent to american life we want give two thousand five hundred dollars to an american grieving mom because we we evaluate american life in a different way so i think this is the tenth anniversary is a good moment to look back and try to actually put an end to that chapter and pain compensation paulding put it that is accountable and apologize. it is a must i agree thank you so much for being with us michael so. coming up the republican party mouthpiece rush limbaugh says the party lost in two thousand and twelve because it wasn't conservative enough but isn't the party's far right conservatism to blame for its steady decline in popularity well ask our guests insights politics. let me let me i want or don't let me ask you
a question. here on this network is what we're having a debate we have our knives out. to do this right it's a bad thing never get here in a situation where b. and i don't want to talk about the surveillance we. you know sometimes you see a story and it seems so for lengthly you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else and you hear or see some other part of it and realized everything you thought you knew you don't know i'm tom harpur welcome to the big picture.
here is mitt romney trying to figure out the name of that thing that we americans call a donor. i'm sorry i'm just a guy who cares an awful lot of money from you sir are a fool you know what that is my theory sounds good i want to give us a feature isn't he on live from the christian point used. to secure the borders but. you know the corporate media distracts us from what you and i should care about because they're profit driven in this. garbage you call that breaking news i'm having martin and we're going to break that. look pretty down in the field that you won't find it here if you're looking for relevant stories you need respected from top my skin's dark.
welcome back now it's time to turn things over tonight's big picture politics panel our panel tonight michael ward reporter with the weekly standard richard foller progressive strategist knows most of the richard fowler show and patrick edger policy analyst with freedom works thanks for joining me tonight. you all heard my conversation with joe of our. should the u.s. policy apologize to iraq should we be prosecuting people who took us into the war in iraq michael absolutely not i disagreed with him completely on his evaluation of the war look at the question of whether the iraq war was poorly managed certainly in the early years absolutely that's true i don't think really anybody denies that anymore but the purpose of the war i think was noble it was just filled tens of thousands hundreds of thousands of people for what reason the reason for going into
iraq was threefold if i remember correctly there was a sort of three legged stool argument that the bush administration gave one that it was a it was a security issue the national security issue for the you know it was going to attack us we we are there now and there were there were actual concerns that there were that there were connections between saddam hussein's government and. terrorists al qaeda or al qaeda affiliated i was knocked out of time i mean that was that was so stupid as to be well how is that still it's not stupid in fact it was it was. still good. there are was being hunted by saddam hussein he saw them as as the religious zealots who threatened his his secular regime let's not let's not relive again every every aspect of what exactly we got into the war for the fact of the matter is that by two thousand and seven we were losing the war we were in a bad place and the bush administration and congress to their credit changed course pushed for the surge and if you look at iraq now it's in
a much better place not only since two thousand seven but since before two thousand and three which you may you know forget but there was an actual dictator in charge of the country who was killing his own people and i'm not sure iraq is in a better place or not i mean we profess it to be a democracy but yet you know we haven't had this bull lecture that they're on top of you know republicans love to talk about fraud waste and abuse iraq is an example of fraud waste and government abuse people are wasting them what do with money that's going into the country to begin with this role was war was wrong on day one is wrong right now the fact that people died only our veterans died and our troops died but the fact that innocent civilians women and children died just sort of sad and i think you know that some to some extent we really need to take a look and we need to evaluate a lot we need to use iraq as an example for us as we move forward as a country you know when we should go to war and we should not go to war this is an example we should not of went to war patrick there are voices in the public and parties in the same thing at ron paul out there loudly saying we should this is not a war that we should go you know i i'm not a foreign policy expert you know in my organization freedom works tends to focus
a little bit on economic policy so there's a lot that can be said about the legacy of the iraq war there could be a lot of pros a lot of cons and i certainly see an extent of both sides but if you if you look at sort of the lasting legacy it's left with the american government i mean this is what happens when government gets out of control and this is what happens when you have when you have a legislature that is willing to cede all sorts of power to the executive branch to do object pretty much whatever they want and you know when you look at iraq we call it the iraq war but congress hasn't declared war since one. war two so i think as a country really about how do we prevent this from ever happening well i think we need to start a hearing to the constitution a little bit better i think the constitution clearly provides that the congress has the old sole power to declare war and congress didn't declare war and they ceded their power to protect american interests to the executive branch and that and that's dangerous under any administration or just democrats in congress republicans in congress all agreed that saddam hussein was a threat you know they were a few outliers ron paul on the one hand probably bernie sanders on the other hand
but but but but for the most part there was consensus that saddam hussein was a threat there was agreement on this to act as if people be the lies that were being told by the bush administration i don't know if they weren't lies being told by the bush administration who were democrats were talking about this as far back as one thousand nine hundred eight and before i mean. that these were lies now they were. a law is something where you willfully say i false actually i'm using that word very intent i don't think that you can say that the bush administration lied when we all know that when they were noises overseas in from colin powell's assistant the number two guy in you know in the state department says they realized that they were being lied to by by people who will be lined but so the question is as we look back ten years from from the end of the earth from the beginning of the iraq war the question is not how do we stop us getting into how do you or others use your presidents from why you know i don't think that you the issue the issue but you shouldn't you put the power back in the hands of congress to declare a horse had with our congress have the power or you lose the u.s.
that what you're right because congress did see the power to the white house official in the white house the reason why congress even the power to begin is because the white house lied not only to the congress of the american people they made up intelligence that indicated there were so-called weapons of mass destruction moving on trains and whatnot they were and then they took that evidence down to the united made of them lied to the world and said this is a great ideal for us to go to war with the point is that where or when that man when the or when the war went bad so the question i think everybody wants to know where are the weapons of mass destruction that were not only there clearly the weapons of mass is what are there. no affair of the eggs was which which we were all told by the up with both parties about what is sort of the larger question is how do we avoid this in the future i mean this is what james madison warned us about this is not something new to eisenhower warned us about this this was the farewell address of george washington where of foreign entanglements the way you avoid something like this as usual lech politicians that are willing to stand on principle even if that means standing there for thirteen hours and giving a filibuster to prevent it and what we need to do in this country is already saying
that we need to re-evaluate the way we think about killing in this country and we need to think about the costs that are associated with unilateral action by the executive branch six six six zero absolutely i totally agree it's a it's a lot of money ok the obama administration is arguing in the third u.s. circuit court of appeals in philadelphia for the right of law enforcement agencies to use g.p.s. tracking without a warrant there their arguments at the heart of the case is a decision on whether or not police or other law enforcement agencies need probable cause warrants you know basically they're saying this you know for the for the war on terror to prosecute the war on terror we need to be able to slap a g.p.s. on your car your car your car and follow you around if we think that you know you're up to something shady before the moment is the right of people to be secure in their persons houses papers and effects against unreasonable searches and searches and seizures and shall not be violated and no warrant show issue but upon probable cause so put out by oath or affirmation of somebody has to come forward
and say this person is a threat and particularly describing the place to be searched in the persons or things to be seized isn't this is the book is the obama administration on the wrong side of this one patrick isn't this a violation i definitely think are on the wrong side of this one i mean i think we made a pretty clear promise to american citizens after the civil war that we would stop putting collars on people and this is just a high tech collar and it's a very clear violation of civility to do was lavery this is well that's right he's tracking where people are trying to control people and we said which is a free. country we have free people in this country and we can't get down the slippery slope of saying that somebody with more power than i can decide where i should go or where i should be at any given time but if i were is where i grew patrick but i think that the administration on the wrong side on this issue but i won't go as far to even anywhere near compared to slavery i think it is just a violation of our fourth and rights for you to just type without a warrant for you just you know put a g.p.s. on my car for no reason that. i have the same opinion on this as i have with the
obama drone policy which is that it was the bush drone policy yes you're absolutely right it was and this was the bush g.p.s. but and look i think that i think it is ludicrous it's a bit i think kookery to think that the obama administration really wants to target you know your everyday americans just just to track us and make sure that we are doing what they want to control us i don't think that that's a an issue that americans really worry about and trust our big government on on issues of national security i absolutely do interesting. interesting so even though you for a loop are no no i'm just i'm fascinated by that that you like big government when it comes to they're watching us to they're observing us to their sticking their nose into our lives it's the thing they do i just don't want big government to help us out who are hungry not look i think look i don't you know when we ship food stamps no i never said i want to see what it's like and i never said it was our national security sent you know it was you never said i got it i bet anything that
i needed to say i'm very uncertain oh no republicans you know we spent too much money on food stamps we spent too much money on schools we spent too much money well sure thing i mean i think charles lane had a great article in the washington post about this about food stamps going to buy junk food that sort of thing so my point my point is we don't trust government to feed us but you do trust government to watch yes absolutely every good i think they're very good at restraint you know tom i think there's a slippery slope on what defies national security i think if you were to ask me and i ask a lot of progressives out there what national security if they would. make sure that you have education and that work education is the smarter our citizens are the more secure we are as a nation economically how is that critical to security when i see how are constructed that ninety five truck to the interstate system in this country was constructed because it was key to mass security in writing this point blank period of education the same thing. you know i've got a real problem with. if the obama administration wants to go ahead with this and people on the right you know the lindsey graham's of john mccain's of the world
want to agree with it i mean all that does is kind of strengthen the libertarian base and the actual fiscal and so is the actual true conservative base the republican party and i think that gives us a bridging issue to progressives out there that are kind of disillusioned by this you know the obama administration kind of breaking these promises of hope and change i mean these are things that the youth rebelled against george bush going and now you know some of history he just won from he just won from you know you disagree with the republican party to this is all obama's fault well i don't think it's all obama's fault obviously these are policies that were in the senate candidate that began under these are policies that began under the bush administration they've been continued to kind of exacerbate what you're saying these are these are highlighting a fracture cleavage and i would say you know and i think i think and your colleague . you guys both call yourselves republicans but michael. you're saying it's your republican your you call yourself a republican i would consider myself more of a libertarian on the issue so i don't think that you're going to let the republican
party we're going to try to drive us out of there you're going to cast a receipt here at the democratic party's champion the leader of the democratic party is making a huge mistake by endorsing an issue like this and all it does is a kind of bold in this new generation of republicans and this new generation of what you libertarians and think about is the which generations the new one are you that if you new generation you can new generation y. i would consider myself part of the new generation of old with my old heart on staff so it's a who's in your town and i'm going to listen i'm going to look at congressman tom cotton for one who served in iraq. was a harvard grad harvard. wasil grad. there are quite a few of us because he told us was that his cable republican party when i was in new york and also for one. thing i think ted cruz not quite in his camp as much is as much as a libertarian. i don't know whether this is the us way. this is very well done at the end of it but at the end of the day being consistent on these issues is what's going to strengthen our you party strength and i was very
open marco rubio there to all of you already is not consistent on these issues no i was definitely agree with that and frankly neither is the democratic party only absolutely from the richard you and i have to you know this is a conversation everybody both parties desperately need to be having because people get her policies like this right and if if there had not been privacy third not been a right to privacy people had not been able to be anonymous boston tea party that. we would have a nation so i think that there's a you know there's some real serious thought that needs to go go into any any kind of violation absolutely more of tonight's politics.
you know sometimes you see a story and it seems so for lengthly you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else and you hear or see some other part of it and realize that everything you thought you knew you don't know i'm charming welcome to the big picture. of potentially deadly blizzard taking aim for the northeast it's expected to hit stunning in a few hours from new york to maine we have team coverage of the storm. but what we're watching is the very heavy snow moving into boston proper earlier today it was very sticky you can see it start to become much more powdery this is the
bottom line there is still a lot of snow out here a good place for snowball fight. d.c. it is going to be pretty incredible day there and even record snowfall throughout much of the life will be as long three driving lessons submerging see dear exceptions. worse you are going to say the only white house of the day the radio guy and. make . a good joke if you've never seen anything like this i'm telling.